Lore Season 2, Episode 5 review: The story of the witch

LORE -- Photo Credit: Julie Vrabelova/Amazon Studios -- Acquired via EPK.TV
LORE -- Photo Credit: Julie Vrabelova/Amazon Studios -- Acquired via EPK.TV /

Lore Season 2, Episode 5 gave us the story of Mary Webster, the Witch of Hadley. Was it just your typical witch tale or was there something more to it?

Growing up in Britain, history was filled with stories of witches, trials, and that superstitious fear and need to blame someone for something. Many in the States likely learned the same thing due to the Salem Witch Trials. But before Salem came Mary Webster, the Witch of Hadley, and that’s just what Lore Season 2, Episode 5 focused on.

Told through the eyes of a young girl, Verity Hollister. She’s sure that Mary’s witchcraft killed her mother. Meanwhile, the town mayor, Philip Smith, is angry that Mary was acquitted of witchcraft in Boston and has been allowed to return.

The usual witchhunt?

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For the most part, the episode was a typical witchhunt storyline. However, there was something more to it as Verity learned more about Mary and saw what her accusations and lies had done. She realized that a potentially innocent woman had been hanged for her crimes, bringing us a sense of humanity and compassion.

Of course, nobody was going to believe Verity. Once someone believed a person was a witch, the whole village would. In a sense, it was a form of bullying and discrimination against the outcasts. And in this story, we get to see Verity attempt to change the minds of her brother and Philip Smith’s son to no avail.

The narration of a girl

Like the other episodes, Lore Season 2, Episode 5 didn’t include Aaron Mahnke’s narration. For this particular episode, I think it worked. But that’s only because of the way the story was told.

Had it been a story of Mary, then the Lore narration would have worked better. Aaron has a way of telling the story of the subject matter. The setting of this episode reminded me of the series premiere, which was beautifully narrated by Aaron.

However, this story wasn’t about Mary but about Verity’s view of Mary. It was Verity’s tale of the people of Hadley and the suspicions they had. We got to see why she believed Mary was a witch and understood her change of opinion. In the end, we get her wondering why God never saved the people of Salem in the way he did Mary, but then suggested that maybe it wasn’t God after all.

This type of tale wouldn’t have worked with Aaron narrating. The way the story was told put us in the viewpoint of Verity, going through the tale with her vision and growing knowledge.

Beautiful lighting, costuming, and direction

At no point did I feel taken out of the story by some sort of historical goof or a problem with lighting and direction. The whole episode was put together well.

I’ve seen plenty of tales about witches, especially about Salem or the English witch trials in Lancaster. This episode didn’t feel like the usual. Sure, there was a guy dying of what was presumably syphilis and we had the typical older woman living on the outskirts accused of being a witch, but this was just the facts of the tale.

The whole story connected as one, keeping it grounded in Verity’s tale. It would have been easy to give us a flash of what Mary was thinking. We could have had a look at how the rest of the townspeople reacted. Instead, we just had Verity’s viewpoint and saw her thought process in how Mary survived the hanging.

Next. Lore Season 2, Episode 4 review: The Curse of the Prague Clock. dark

What did you think of Lore Season 2, Episode 5? Did you enjoy the story of the Witch of Hadley? What would you have liked to see changed? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Lore Seasons 1 and 2 are available on Amazon Prime Video.